Transforming College to Career


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Colleges and universities across the country are engaged in efforts to transform the college to career process. This presentation explains why so much emphasis is now being placed on career outcomes, what best practice schools are doing, and prerequisites for successful transformation.

Published in: Education, Career, Business
  • Excellent inside view of what is/needs to be happening on college campuses for college-to-career strategies. The process of becoming self-aware and choosing a 'best fit' career remains an elusive part of even the best in Career Center practices. Parents and employers are expressing the frustration and desire for better career decision-making. Yet, this is left almost entirely to the student to figure out on their own - contrary to what is suggested is happening in high schools and in college career centers. There is a program, Career Coaching for Students, that is addressing this better than any other program out there (very biased statement but this is what others say).
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  • Very good and please note- William Peace University Career Services in Raleigh NC has been incorporating this model for years and enhanced it three years ago with a Professional Development Seminar series all students take. All students complete an internship, co-op or student teaching as part of the program. It's a lot of work- but well worth it. We have the data to evaluate and continue to improve it annually.
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  • Like the vision and the presentation. Minor disagreement with slide 25, where it is stated that 'the only area that can reliably be taught by Career Services is 'Job Search Savvy'.' Career exploration, decision-making, and planning can be taught as well with impact on retention, and some evidence for impact on career satisfaction post graduation. I realize those are not the quantifiable 'successful career outcomes' that are being demanded by parents and governmental agencies, but meaningful work will be important when unraveling placement figures for 'underemployment.'
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Transforming College to Career

  1. Transforming   College  to  Career   April,  2014   Sheila  Curran,  Curran  Consul5ng  Group   h8p://     CurranConsultingGroup
  2. Presenter   •  Sheila  Curran   •  CEO  and  Chief  Strategy  Consultant   •  Curran  Consul5ng  Group   •   •   •       CurranConsultingGroup
  3. 5  Key  Questions   CurranConsultingGroup Ø How  has  college  to  career   evolved?     Ø Why  pay  so  much  a:en;on   to  careers  now?     Ø What’s  wrong  with  our   current  model  of  college  to   career?     Ø What  does  transforma;on   look  like?     Ø What  are  the  prerequisites   for  success?  
  4. CurranConsultingGroup How  has  college  to   career  evolved?  
  5. CurranConsultingGroup Thirty  years  ago,  there  was  li8le  connec5on  between  classroom  and  career.  Students  typically  started  thinking   about  careers  in  their  senior  year,  unless  they  intended  to  go  to  law  or  medical  schools—op5ons  with  very   clear  rules  and  requirements.  Career  Services  was,  for  the  most  part,  a  “placement”  model.  
  6. CurranConsultingGroup In  2014,  career  prepara5on  is  much  more  complex.  Companies  are  much  less  willing  to  train  new  recruits;  they   expect  students  to  come  ready  to  be  produc5ve  on  day  one,  and  they  want  students  to  have  acquired  relevant   skills  and  experiences  while  s5ll  in  college.  
  7. Major  Changes  to  Careers  1984  to  2014   •  Career  prepara5on,  formal  educa5on  and  experien5al  educa5on  occur   simultaneously     •  Employment  situa5on  is  more  complex     •  Internships  are  more  important     •  Technology  means  the  delivery  of  career  services  is  not  place  dependent     CurranConsultingGroup
  8. Major  Changes  to  Career  Services  1984-­‐2014   •  Services  start  earlier     •  Greater  emphasis  on  internships     •  Easier  access  to  opportunity  through   recrui5ng  systems     •  Increase  in  3rd  party  career   technology,  e.g.,  for  interviewing     •  More  collabora5on  across  campus         CurranConsultingGroup While  the  work  world  for  new  graduates  has  changed  significantly  in  30  years,  and  the  “rules  of  engagement”   have  become  much  less  clear,  Career  Services  offices  operate  in  fundamentally  the  same  way  as  they  have  for   decades,  simply  adding  more  func5ons  to  their  exis5ng  counseling  and  employment  (aka  placement)   responsibili5es.  OYen  the  Career  Services  mission  is  a  “mission  impossible”.  
  9. Unemployment  Rates  for  College  Grads   CurranConsultingGroup 0.00%   1.00%   2.00%   3.00%   4.00%   5.00%   6.00%   7.00%   8.00%   9.00%   10.00%   2008   2009-­‐12   2013   Annual  Unemployment  %  Averages  for  College  Graduates  25  or  Older   2008   2009-­‐12   2013   2.8% 4.9% 4% Un5l  the  Great  Recession  hit,  few  colleges  and  universi5es  paid  much  a8en5on  to  Career  Services,  nor  held   them  accountable  for  results.  Colleges  were  lulled  into  a  false  sense  of  security:  students  con5nued  to   matriculate  despite  rising  costs  because  college  loans  were  more  available;  the  media  consistently  touted  the   $1  million  advantage  of  a  bachelor’s  degree;  and,  unemployment  rates  for  college  grads  over  25  were   consistently  much  lower  than  for  the  civilian  popula5on.  
  10. CurranConsultingGroup Why  pay  so  much   attention  to  careers?    
  11. The  Impact  of  the  Great  Recession   CurranConsultingGroup 87.9%:   Students  a8end  college  to  get  a   be8er  job!   The  economic  downturn  of  2008  changed  everything.  Loans  became  a  much  greater  concern  when  being  able   to  repay  them  was  not  an  automa5c  assump5on.  The  numbers  of  students  saying  that  a  primary  reason  for   a8ending  college  was  to  get  a  be8er  job  has  con5nued  to  increase,  and  families  now  ac5vely  ques5on   prospec5ve  colleges  on  the  return  on  investment  of  their  college  tui5on  dollars.  
  12. Unemployment  for  Young  Grads   CurranConsultingGroup 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   2008   2009-­‐12   2013   Average  Unemployment  %  of  College  Graduates  Aged  20-­‐24     2008   2009-­‐12   2013   5.6% 8.7% 8% Students  and  their  families  have  reason  for  concern.  When  the  media  talks  about  unemployment  rates,  they   cite  rates  for  all  college  grads;  the  picture  for  new  bachelor’s  grads  aged  20-­‐24  is  much  less  rosy.  Since  2008,   the  unemployment  rates  for  this  cohort  have  consistently  exceeded  those  of  the  overall  civilian  popula5on,   and  by  some  es5mates,  almost  40%  of  new  grads  are  “mal-­‐employed”  in  posi5ons  that  do  not  require  a   college  degree,  or  require  part-­‐5me  without  benefits.  
  13. The  Employer  Perspective   CurranConsultingGroup Employers:   Fewer  than  2  in  5  hiring  managers   found  recent  graduates  prepared  for   jobs   Contrary  to  popular  assump5on,  the  majority  of  college  students  are  not  using  the  poor  employment  climate   as  an  impetus  to  be8er  prepare  themselves  for  the  future,  or  take  advantage  of  college  career  services.   Employers  are  generally  unimpressed  with  the  quality  of  college  grads  applying  to  entry-­‐level  professional   posi5ons.  There  is  a  disconnect  between  employer  percep5on  and  what  chief  academic  officers  think  about   graduates’  level  of  prepara5on.      
  14. Cost  of  Education  in  Context   CurranConsultingGroup The  ques5on  of  the  educa5onal  “ROI”  is  of  much  greater  significance  than  in  the  past  because  of  the  cost  of   educa5on.  According  to  Bloomsburg  (based  on  Labor  Department  figures),  tui5on  and  fees  have  increased   1,120  percent  since  records  began  in  1978,  4  5mes  faster  than  the  growth  of  the  CPI.  The  recent  steeper   climb  in  college  costs  coincides  with  federal  government  2006  decision  to  increase  the    availability  of   student  loans  and  the  amount  students  could  borrow.  Current  average  student  debt  is  around  $29,000.  
  15. CurranConsultingGroup Student  Debt   Not  surprisingly,  outstanding  student  debt  affects  an  increasing  number  of  households,  diminishing  graduates’   ability  to  improve  their  economic  posi5on,  purchase  large  items,  or  get  a  mortgage.  According  to  the  Pew   Research  Center,  households  with  outstanding  debt  rose  from  9%  in  1989  to  19%  in  2010.  
  16. The  Problem  for  Academia   Cost   Debt   Pressure   on   outcomes   CurranConsultingGroup
  17. It’s  not  just  parents  who   demand  college  accountability!   Inside  Higher  Ed   Performance  Funding  Goes  Federal     August  23,  2013  by  Paul  Fain     “Colleges  need  to  demonstrate  the  value  of  their  product  with   hard  numbers….or  lawmakers  will  try  to  do  it  for  them.     The  sweeping,  ambi5ous  proposal  (proposed  by)  President   Obama  seeks  to  5e  all  federal  financial  aid  programs  to  a  ra5ng   system  of  colleges  on  affordability,  student  comple5on  rates  and   the  earnings  of  graduates.”     CurranConsultingGroup
  18. Government   •  Transparency   •  College  Score  Card     •  Website  to  compare   college  costs     •  Emphasis  on   economic  value  of   educa5on   CurranConsultingGroup
  19. Dilemma   •  The  prime  purpose  of  higher   educa5on  is  educa5on   BUT….     •  Students  (and  parents)  take  a   u5litarian  approach,  and  want  a   return  on  their  tui5on   investment     •  Is  it  possible  to  have  both  a  high   quality  educa5on  and  also   excellent  career  outcomes?     ABSOLUTELY!     CurranConsultingGroup
  20. CurranConsultingGroup What’s  wrong  with  our   current  college  career   model?  
  21. THE  PROBLEM     •  96%  of  chief  academic  officers  believe  their   ins;tu;on  is  either  somewhat  effec;ve  or  very   effec;ve  in  preparing  students  for  the  world  of   work   BUT:     1)  There  is  li8le  evidence  to  prove  success   2)  Most  Career  Services  structures  are  inadequate  to   meet  21st  century  needs   CurranConsultingGroup
  22. Current  Model  of  Career  Services   CurranConsultingGroup Curran  Consul5ng  Group:   CAREER  DIRECTOR   COUNSELING   EMPLOYER   RELATIONS   Academic  Advising   Study  Abroad   Residen5al  Life   Affinity  Groups   Alumni   Faculty   Parents   Employers   Friends   Admissions   STUDENTS   Deans  &  Senior   Administrators   On  most  college  campuses  there  are  mul5ple  career  ini5a5ves,  involving  groups  and  individuals  both  on  and  off   campuses.  There  is  oYen  li8le  coordina5on  and  much  duplica5on.  The  Career  Services  office  may  be,  both   literally  and  figura5vely,  out  in  “leY  field”.  Some  student  needs  are  very  well  met—especially  if  the  student’s   major  is  also  a  career;  the  needs  of  others—oYen  those  in  the  liberal  and  crea5ve  arts—remain  unmet.  
  23. Connecting  College  to  Career   Career  ini5a5ves  on   campus—within  the   classroom  and  beyond   Connect  the  dots   Comprehensive   Careers   Philosophy  &   Plan   CurranConsultingGroup To  successfully  transform  careers,  we  must  connect  the  dots  between  career  ini5a5ves—wherever  they  take   place—and  a  comprehensive  careers  philosophy  and  plan.  And  the  plan  must  be  driven  by  data.  Colleges  and   universi5es  must  determine  what  success  looks  like  for  their  graduates,  and  align  their  services,  programs  and   ini5a5ves  to  meet  those  objec5ves.  
  24. Building  21st  Century  Skills   CurranConsultingGroup The  skills  required  by  21st  century  employers  can  be  learned  through  a  student’s  experience  in  and  out  of  the   classroom.  We  must  be  more  inten5onal  about  helping  students  appreciate  what  they  are  learning,  and   understand  where  they  can  acquire  the  knowledge  and  skills  they  need.  
  25. Building  towards  successful  career  outcomes   Successful   Career   Outcomes   Relevant   knowledge   Skills  &   Abili5es   Personal   characteris5cs   Job  search   savvy   CurranConsultingGroup The  only  area  that  can  reliably  be  taught  by  Career  Services  is  “Job  Search  Savvy”.    But,  career  professionals   must  also  play  a  cri5cal  role  in  orchestra5ng  opportuni5es  for  students  and  overseeing  how  and  where   students  gain  essen5al  work  skills  and  experience.  No  longer  can  Career  Services  be  a  place  of  transac5ons.  It   must  play  a  leadership  role  in  bringing  together  all  those  who  can  support  and  promote  students’  career   journeys.  
  26. A  simple  math  problem     How do you adequately serve the multiple career needs of over 6,000 students with 4 professional staff? In  most  ins5tu5ons,  Careers  Services  staff  do  not  have  sufficient  band-­‐width  to  adequately  build   individual  career  partnerships  with  students  and  employers.  The  only  way  to  achieve  ins5tu5onal   goals  for  graduate  success  is  by  engaging  the  whole  community  in  offering  expert  advice  and  help   to  students  (Career  Community  ini5a5ve).   CurranConsultingGroup
  27. Increasing  the  impact  of  career  services   CurranConsultingGroup Relevant  Skills  +   Experience GPA =  Maximum  usage   currently   =  Some  usage   currently   =  Almost  no  usage   Key Currently,  the  students  who  receive  the  most  help  are  the  ones  who  seek  it  out.  They  are  usually  the  students   who  have  the  best  academic  record  and  experience.  If  Career  Services  wants  to  make  a  greater  impact,  it   should  “segment  the  market”,  iden5fying  those  students  or  groups  of  students  whose  prospects  would  be   enhanced  by  targeted  career  help,  par5cularly  around  the  value  of  internships.  
  28. CurranConsultingGroup What  does   transformation  look   like?  
  29. Key  characteristics  of  the  Wake  Forest  Model   •  Ins5tu5on-­‐wide  support  &   investment     •  Inten5onal;  involves  all   students     •  Accessible  informa5on  through   well-­‐conceived  website     •  Data-­‐driven     •  Excellent  results   CurranConsultingGroup
  30. Key  characteristics  of  the  Augustana  model   •  Strategic  ini5a5ve:  Grew  out   of  campus-­‐wide  retreat,   engaging  faculty  and  staff     •  President  and  Provost  biggest   cheerleaders     •  Holis5c  approach  to  student   and  graduate  success     •  Different  kind  of  career   leadership     CurranConsultingGroup
  31. Key  characteristics  of  the  Miami  U  model   •  Proac5ve  approach,  involving  “Career  Community”   •  Realignment  of  staff,  based  on  career  priori5es     •  Enhanced  employer  rela5onships,  collabora5ng  with   Corporate  Rela5ons  to  increase  impact   •  Re-­‐imagined  career  courses  and  programs,  based  on   understanding  of  the  needs  of  different  schools   CurranConsultingGroup
  32. The  role  of  faculty  in  career  transformation   •  Ar5culate  career  value   of  educa5on     •  Iden5fy  and  promote  skills  and   knowledge  developed  in  classroom     •  Find  opportuni5es  to  help  students  apply   knowledge     •  Partner  with  Career  Services  to  promote   careers  in  a  par5cular  major     •  Integrate  career  and  academic  advising,   knowing  when  and  where  to   appropriately  refer  students  to  other   resources     CurranConsultingGroup
  33. Transformative  Career  Model   CurranConsultingGroup Curran  Consul5ng  Gro The  new  model  puts  student  needs  front  and  center,  along  with  career  and  academic  advising.  The  concept  is   that  student  career  needs  can  be  met  in  mul5ple  ways.  Some5mes  advice  will  most  appropriately  come  from  a   faculty  member,  some5mes  from  a  career  professional,  and  some5mes  from  an  alum  who  is  expert  in  a   par5cular  field.  Career  Services  must  orchestrate  an  internal  and  external  career  community  to  provide   connec5ons,  experiences  and  opportuni5es  (the  CEO  model).  
  34. CurranConsultingGroup What  are  prerequisites   for  success  in  any   college  career  initiative?  
  35. Four  career  initiatives  that  move  the  needle   Integrated,  holis5c   approach   Internal  and  External   Career  Community   Strategic  resource   alloca5on   Data,  planning,  and   accountability   STUDENT   FOCUS   CurranConsultingGroup
  36. Questions?   CurranConsultingGroup Sheila  Curran     •  CEO  and  Chief  Strategy  Consultant   •  Curran  Consul5ng  Group   •   •   •   •  401  861  2278